Total BeLeafers

Saturday, 21 January 2012

HNIC Preview: Leafs vs Canadiens [Jan 21 2012]

Leafs (23-18-5, 9th in East) vs. Habs (17-21-9, 12th in East)


GAME TIME: 7:00pm EST 
TV BROADCAST: CBC
RADIO BROADCAST: AM640




Courtesy Google Images
It doesn't get any better than this folks, a Saturday night at the ACC, Hockey Night in Canada classic, between arguably the biggest rivalry in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Montreal Canadiens. The Leafs are coming into the game tonight on a high note after a great performance Thursday night, thumping the Wild 4-1 at the ACC. The Habs, on the other hand, are coming into the game in a slump, losing five of their last six games. No matter what the standings say, a game between these two clubs are always filled with excitement, and a playoff atmosphere. The roar of the ACC after a Leafs goal, the excitement in the players' goal celebration, and even the poor attempt of an "ole'ole'ole" chant from the Habs fans will always send chills down my spine, because this shows that hockey isn't just a game; its a passion. 


With a win tonight (and a Florida loss), the blue-and-white will leap frog their way into a playoff spot. Jonas Gustavsson is expected to make his second consecutive start tonight, as Reimer will watch from the bench in a backup role. No line changes are expected to be made, as Lupul notched 3 assists against the Wild from the third line, and was named the "assistant captain" on Team Chara at the 2012 All-Star game. Coach Wilson seems to like idea of spreading out the talent amongst the top 3 lines, rather than having 2 scoring lines and 2 checking lines. 


Projected Lines: 


Lombardi-Bozak-Kessel
MacArthur-Grabovski-Kulemin
Lupul-Connolly-Kadri
Crabb-Steckel-Brown


Phaneuf-Schenn
Gunnarsson-Komisarek
Gardiner-Franson


Gustavsson
Reimer


Go Leafs Go!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Highlights: Leafs vs Wild [Jan 19th 2012]



                                           Courtesy: www.youtube.com/NHLvideo




Thursday, 19 January 2012

Leafs end a 3-game losing skid with a 4-1 win over the Wild

Leafs win 4-1 over the Wild in convincing fashion at the Air Canada Centre on Thursday night. A game in which both teams needed the two points to inch closer to a playoff spot. The Leafs took control early with goals coming from Kadri and Crabb, and headed into the intermission with a 2-0 lead. In the second, Clutterbuck makes an awfully blunt slash that lead to a 5-on-3 Leafs PP, and just as the first penalty expired Kessel tapped in his 25th goal of the season to extend the lead to 3-0. Heading into the third, the blue-and-white showing complete dominance over this game, Grabovski scores a tricky goal as it was deflected off his skate and into the back of the net. The original call on the ice was no goal, but after further review the goal was given and Mikhail had his 15th of the season. Gustavsson played a solid game, other than a puck-handling brain fart which nearly lead to a goal, and a late goal by Johnson which snuck between his arm and the post. The shutout was there for him but it was his own fault he lost it. Captain Phaneuf lead the Leafs with just under 27 minutes of playing time in this 4-1 win.


I personally thought the Leafs took total control of this game right from the start. The two quick goals drained the Wild, and they showed no signs of life throughout the game. The third line consisting of Lupul, Connolly and Kadri played great as their creative puck handling skills seemed to compliment each other. Lupul had a great night tallying 3 assists and a plus-3 rating. The defence was solid, and made simple plays to get the puck up and out of our end. Speciality teams played good, scoring once out of six powerplay attempts, and killing off the only short-handed stint. There's one thing about our PP that bothers me, and that's the cross-ice pace on the half boards. It never seems to work, always getting intercepted by a stick in the middle, I'd much rather see a simple pass that gets to the target. However, we came out with the win, and the crucial two points in the race for the playoffs, one point behind 8th-place Florida, and I'm happy. 


The Leafs are in action again on Saturday at the ACC against the bottom-feeding Montreal Canadiens. 


Don't stop beLeafing. 





Leafs vs. Wild - January 19, 2012

Leafs (22-18-5, 9th in East) vs. Wild (22-17-7, 9th in West)

Both teams coming into this game needing a win to bounce right back in to the playoff mix. Leafs Jonas Gustavsson gets the nod tonight from Ron Wilson. Also looks like Aulie will be the odd-man out on the blueline tonight while birthday boy Mike Komisarek, who turns 30 will be playing. John-Michael Liles and Colby Armstrong practised today, inching closer to return, Armstrong says he hopes to play a game before the All-Star break. Another interesting move by Wilson, Lombardi gets the promotion to the 1st line along-side Kessel and Bozak, while Lupul gets demoted to the 3rd line. Yes, you read that correctly, the NHL's 11th best leading point scorer is playing third line minutes tonight. Could be very interesting to see how Lombardi's speed will open up space for Kessel. I understand that Lombardi's been playing great the past few games, but has he really been playing good enough to get the first line promotion? Personally don't like this move, but with Wilson behind the bench, you've learned by now to expect the unexpected.

Toronto's lines:

Lombardi-Bozak-Kessel
MacArthur-Grabovski-Kulemin
Lupul-Connolly-Kadri *should be a very crafty line, hopefully they click.
Crabb-Steckel-Brown

Phaneuf-Schenn
Gunnarsson-Komisarek
Gardiner-Franson

Gustavsson
Reimer

Go Leafs Go!

                                           photogallery.thestar.com

2011-2012 Leafs Roster

  #     NAME                                   Ht.   Wt.   D.O.B.                     AGE  PLACE OF BIRTH
9COLBY ARMSTRONG "A"  **6' 2"19523 NOV 198229LLOYDMINSTER, SK, CAN
47DARRYL BOYCE  6' 0"2007 JUL 198427SUMMERSIDE, PE, CAN
42TYLER BOZAK  6' 1"19519 MAR 198625REGINA, SK, CAN
18MIKE BROWN  5' 11"20524 JUN 198526CHICAGO, IL, USA
12TIM CONNOLLY  6' 1"1907 MAY 198130SYRACUSE, NY, USA
46JOEY CRABB  6' 1"1903 APR 198328ANCHORAGE, AK, USA
11PHILIPPE DUPUIS  6' 0"19624 APR 198526LAVAL, QC, CAN
39MATT FRATTIN  6' 0"2003 JAN 198824EDMONTON, AB, CAN
84MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI "A" 5' 11"18331 JAN 198427POTSDAM, DEU
43NAZEM KADRI  6' 0"1886 OCT 199021LONDON, ON, CAN
81PHIL KESSEL  6' 0"2022 OCT 198724MADISON, WI, USA
41NIKOLAI KULEMIN  6' 1"22514 JUL 198625MAGNITOGORSK, RUS
15MATTHEW LOMBARDI  5' 11"19518 MAR 198229MONTREAL, QC, CAN
19JOFFREY LUPUL  6' 1"20623 SEP 198328FORT SASKATCHEWAN, AB, CAN
16CLARKE MACARTHUR  6' 0"1916 APR 198526LLOYDMINSTER, AB, CAN
38JAY ROSEHILL  6' 3"21516 JUL 198526OLDS, AB, CAN
20DAVID STECKEL  6' 6"21515 MAR 198229MILWAUKEE, WI, USA
59KEITH AULIE  6' 6"21711 JUN 198922ROULEAU, SK, CAN
4CODY FRANSON  6' 5"2138 AUG 198724SALMON ARM, BC, CAN
51JAKE GARDINER  6' 1"1734 JUL 199021DEEPHAVEN, MN, USA
36CARL GUNNARSSON  6' 2"1969 NOV 198625OREBRO, SWE
8MIKE KOMISAREK "A" 6' 4"24319 JAN 198230WEST ISLIP, NY, USA
24JOHN-MICHAEL LILES   **5' 10"18525 NOV 198031INDIANAPOLIS, IN, USA
3DION PHANEUF "C" 6' 3"21410 APR 198526EDMONTON, AB, CAN
2LUKE SCHENN  6' 2"2292 NOV 198922SASKATOON, SK, CAN
50JONAS GUSTAVSSON  6' 3"19224 OCT 198427DANDERYD, SWE
34JAMES REIMER  6' 2"20815 MAR 198823MORWEENA, MB, CAN


Source: http://mapleleafs.nhl.com/club/roster.htm